Another RS Dancey quote a bit later on:
"The "red box" looks like a nostalgia product designed to be sold to 40 year-olds who want to relive a moment of their childhoods. I don't get the art or the font - neither will appeal to either kids or moms in CE2011. It doesn't look like any other products in the 4E line so how will people know that it connects? Doesn't even matter what's inside the box - this is one of those things that has to sell on its presentation on the shelf.
As to 4e as a product line, I'm equally confused. If I want to start playing this game today, what do I buy? How "Essential" is "Heroes of the Forgotten Kingdoms"? Is there still a Player's Handbook? Is it more or less "Essential" than the Rules Compendium? Wait, there's three Player's Handbooks? And 2 Dungeon Master Guides? Do I need to buy 5 300+ page books to play this game? And is the "Essentials" game the same game, or a dumbed down game?"
Very interesting stuff. I'm not sure if it covers every sales outlet, but I bet PF and 4e are neck and neck in sales. What this bodes for WotC and the hobby in general, I have no idea. Maybe 5e will get bumped up a year for release. And, if so, hopefully it will trim down more and require less minis, encounter cards, daily/encounter powers, etc.
I think he's hit the nail on the head. 4e is so fragmented you have to do research to even see what books you really need to buy. That's not good at all.